Winter break has arrived for most schools across the country, giving students a chance to enjoy a few days of relaxation and reflection before heading back in the new year. And for many, a new semester will provide a fresh opportunity for them to try something new – like residential construction.
A large number of NAHB members entered the construction field at a young age, participating in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses and extracurricular activities like NAHB student chapters. And many of them eventually became industry leaders at the local and national levels.
The jobsite gave Readdick first-hand exposure to the construction process and he was fascinated by it from a very young age.
"Early on I knew construction was the path I wanted to take," Readdick said.
That fascination led Readdick to enroll in industrial safety and construction courses at Camden County High School when he was a teen. He went on to major in construction management at Georgia Southern University and quickly joined the Construction Management (CM) Guild to network with industry professionals in NAHB and other trade associations.
One of Readdick's proudest achievements was when he received a scholarship from the Georgia HBA – a gesture that motivated him to give back once he became an industry professional.
"The experiences from extracurriculars made it seamless in starting my own business," Readdick said, starting Readdick Construction in 2012. "The industry professionals I met gave great feedback in preparing myself for the industry. School had its side of education and training, and the HBA acclimated me to the business side."
Returning to his hometown, Readdick formed the Camden County HBA, where he served as president. Locally, his business has had continued success by recruiting a robust team and connecting with colleagues. Joining other aspiring builders, Readdick remains eager to network and collaborate immediately – consistently pursuing education and growth.
Readdick noted that NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter, from Savannah, Ga., was an influential figure in his career development. The two built a rapport as Readdick began attending state events, where Konter offered leadership and mentorship as he progressed in his career.
Today, Readdick continually looks for opportunities to encourage young people to take the first step toward a career in construction. Just as Readdick took initiative, he encourages a new generation of students to chart their own course in finding a lucrative, long-lasting career.
"Everything fell into place at the right time," Readdick said. "Where I am today accumulated from different events throughout my upbringing, and I couldn't be more thankful for taking that leap of faith."
To learn more about opportunities to get involved with students and student chapters, visit nahb.org/studentchapters.